The sun slowly made its appearance through the trees and over Mowbray Mountain as climbers bee-lined for the Hatchet Coffee tent this past weekend. Competitors then took to their crash pads to lounge, warm up, and stretch before the 13th annual Triple Crown Bouldering Series kicked off at Stone Fort, outside Chattanooga, Tennessee.
At 9:30 a.m., comp co-organizer and founder Jim Horton asked the 380 competitors, “Are you ready to climb?” Climbers scattered in all directions—some into the woods while others headed for the fairway to beat the heat and the crowds.
The boulders along the fairway of the Montlake Golf Course, except during the Triple Crown competition, are off limits to climbers and are rarely climbed. Competitor Chris Watts found this out the hard way when he pulled off a 40-pound block and revealed a hornets’ nest on one of these boulders. Luckily no one was hurt in the incident.
Competitor Adam Macke was one of the first climbers to head for the fairway as he attempted to climb the Premium Roast - Dark list of 20 problems, ranging in grades from V2 to V6, in under an hour. He completed the task in 59 minutes and beat the competition by an impressive 4 hours.
Mid-day we caught up with Jeremy Walton at the Stone Fort classic The Shield (V12). Giving it a few good burns, Walton finally moved on without a send but still with enough points to bring home the Men’s Open category win (see results below). The Women's Open was won by Sarah Grainger with Wendy Le as a close second and Francesca Metcalf in third.
Stone Fort included a new event this year—a bouldering and running biathlon called the Cumberland Man and Cumberland Woman. Winners had the best combined score from the Star Chaser category and the Stone Fort Stomp, a 4.2 mile timed cross country run. Sam Taylor brought home the Cumberland Man title and the Cumberland Woman title went to Denise Campbell. The fastest runner of the day was Sean Pereira, who crushed the run in 25 minutes and 22 seconds. Pereira took fifth overall.
The Triple Crown Bouldering Series got off to a slow this year, with the first event at Hound Ears postponed because of rain and flooding, but psych was high and the weather was stellar for the Stone Fort comp. “A picture perfect day”, said Chad Wykle, one of the founders and co-organizers of the event.
Stone Fort was a success with over $2,500 raised through raffles and Southeastern Climbers’ Coalition membership sales. The money will go towards continued efforts to preserve and maintain local climbing areas. Wykle and Horton would like to thank everyone and especially the sponsors for the continued support of the event, and hope to see you at Hound Ears on November 7th.
For more information on the Triple Crown Bouldering Series, please visit triplecrownbouldering.org.
Men’s Open (Top 5) Women’s Open (Top 5)
1. Jeremy Walton – 14,226 points 1. Sarah Grainger – 9,178 points
2. Steven Augustine – 12,161 points 2. Wendy Le – 8,004 points
3. Justin Jones – 11,823 points 3. Francesca Metcalf – 7,986 points
4. Nathan Drolet – 11,322 points 4. Rachel Meyers – 5,585 points
5. Mitch Vernon – 10,313 points 5. Rachel Stewart – 5,126 points
Click here for full results and results from other categories.
Rock and Ice is a sponsor of the 2015 Triple Crown Bouldering Series.